We have identified 12 ‘big ideas’ children should encounter in their science education to enable them to understand, enjoy and marvel at the natural world: We have grouped these into the science fields of physics, chemistry, biology and Earth science.
- The universe follows unbreakable rules that are all about forces, matter and energy.
- •Forces are different kinds of pushes and pulls that act on all the matter that is in the universe. Matter is all the stuff, or mass, in the universe.
- •Energy, which cannot be created or destroyed, comes in many different forms and tends to move away from objects that have lots of it.
- •All matter (stuff) in the universe is made up of tiny building blocks.
- •The arrangement, movement and type of the building blocks of matter and the forces that hold them together or push them apart explain all the properties of matter (e.g. hot/cold, soft/hard, light/heavy, etc).
- •Matter can change if the arrangement of these building blocks changes.
- Living things are special collections of matter that make copies of themselves, use energy and grow.
- Living things on Earth come in a huge variety of different forms that are all related because they all came from the same starting point 4.5 billion years ago.
- The different kinds of life, animals, plants and microorganisms, have evolved over millions of generations into different forms in order to survive in the environments in which they live.
- The Earth is one of eight planets that orbit the sun.
- The Earth is tilted and spins on its axis leading to day and night, the seasons and the climate.
- The Earth is made up of several layers, including a relatively thin rocky surface which is divided into tectonic plates, and the movement of these plates leads to many geologic events (such as earthquakes and volcanoes) and geographical features (such as mountains.)
Within our curriculum, children are given time to use the scientific vocabulary they have learned. This may be in oral tasks such as explaining what a word means or a scientific concept or in written tasks such as a science investigation evaluation. Our strong focus on vocabulary helps to ensure children grow in confidence when talking scientifically.
Our curriculum is designed so that children build systematically upon prior learning, with language revisited as they go through the school and across topics. View or download our vocabulary mapping below.
Kindness towards living things and empathy towards all creatures is something that we aim to instill. Whether it's through our allotment use, wildlife area or when we go on visits to the park and woodlands, our curriculum places value on care for nature.
There are many inspirational scientists within our curriculum (view or download the full list at the foot of page). Men and women from all over the world and from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Children have lots of opportunity for hands on science, creating experiments and applying their knowledge to practical activities. Children are routinely encouraged to make predictions, hypothesise, investigate collaboratively and solve problems when they arise (which can happen often with primary school science experiments!)
Below is an overview of what is taught and when ...